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FMCSA to Begin Making Crash Preventability Determinations

FMCSA handed the trucking industry a significant victory this week when they announced a planned demonstration project to begin making preventability determinations on crashes meeting certain criteria and incorporating them into motor carriers’ CSA Safety Measurement System records. The announcement comes in response to comments by ATA on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2015 Crash Weighting Study.

Motor carriers will be able to submit preventability challenges beginning August 1, 2017, for crashes the agency feels are more likely to have been unavoidable. That includes crashes in which the commercial motor vehicle was struck: in the rear; while parked; by a motorist driving under the influence; or by a motorist driving the wrong way. Motor carriers can also challenge the preventability of certain single-vehicle crashes including: animal strikes; suicide by truck; infrastructure failures; or trucks struck by falling objects.

If, after reviewing the evidence provided by the motor carrier, FMCSA finds the crash to be not preventable, it will be appropriately labeled on a carrier’s CSA profile and their Crash Indicator Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) score will be re-calculated with the crash omitted. FMCSA will display this new score to logged-in motor carriers and law enforcement alongside the traditional Crash Indicator score which includes all crashes.

FMCSA will use the data from the demonstration project to determine whether removing non-preventable crashes improves the accuracy of the Crash Indicator BASIC. The program will last at least one year. 

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